Made You Look

Posted in Audio by - May 08, 2018
Made You Look

Released August 2016
SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

The second series of Big Finish’s Torchwood comes to a close with ‘Made You Look’ by Guy Adams as Gwen explores the seaside town of Talmouth to see exactly why nobody has heard from it in days. Something has happened here, and nobody who goes in comes out, and Gwen soon finds that the cause has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, seeing is precisely what leads to death in the gloomy isolation of Talmouth.

Taken at its most basic, the plot of ‘Made You Look’ is quite simple with an unknown creature ravaging the surroundings, but it presents an engaging twist on the likes of Prisoner Zero visually existing in the very corner of one’s eye by presenting a creature that yearns to be seen in even the most fleeting glimpses, three appearances to one person resulting in that person’s death. While the reasoning for this is never completely explained, it sets up a superbly tense atmosphere where death could literally be just a second away at any given time. The creature seems to revel in the gamesmanship surrounding this thrice-seen rule, taunting and teasing to entice its chosen victims to turn and look upon it once more, and Matthew Gravelle imbues an incredible sense of danger and menace to the being known only as Darkness or the Voice as it becomes more and more desperate to gain Gwen’s final look.

After Gwen follows up on a desperate plea from help that Torchwood intercepted and prevented the rest of the world from seeing, she quickly allies herself with another lone survivor, the blind bed and breakfast owner Mrs Rhodes. As Gwen tries her best to keep her eyes closed and to avoid that final fatal glimpse of her pursuer, the two are subjected to a series of illusions that test their character and resolve to the fullest, and Mrs Rhodes is both capable and intelligent enough to know even through blindness that what they are experiencing cannot be real and that she was perfectly safe tucked away in her corner of the city before Gwen brought her out into the open in an attempt to do the right and heroic thing. Because of the imminent danger that never relents through the story, Adams has crafted much more of a straightforward horror story than is typical for Torchwood, a decision that pays off handsomely given the overall atmosphere and tension but that may leave those looking for meaningful exploration of Gwen in her only appearance in this second series somewhat disappointed.

As strong as the material throughout ‘Made You Look’ is, the ending is one that could prove to be polarising since no sense of finality is afforded. The creature goes out of its way to evade answering Gwen’s pointed questions about what it is and where it comes from, if it arrived from space or just awoke from a deep hibernation;though that further serves to ratchet up the intrigue and truly leave the essence of this being to the listener’s imagination, the fact that Gwen simply leaves at the conclusion and promises that someone will deal with it later is a flat note to end on that seems very out of character and somewhat disrespectful to the many lives that have already been lost given that everything occurring here will undoubtedly still remain secret. Gwen is assuredly keen to leave given that one more look at the creature will kill her and there is a momentary discussion about turning one’s back on bullies to render them powerless, but she has always been one of the more proactive members of Torchwood and would assuredly takes the necessary steps to get this threat resolved once and for all before any further lives can be lost. Some may love the cliffhanger and dangling sense of the unknown that could potentially feature again in the future, but it’s something of an unsatisfying end to what overall is an immensely chilling adrenaline rush that states its intentions upfront and delivers on the premise expertly.

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